AFC Bournemouth will be without midfielder Junior Stanislas for the remainder of the Premier League season following knee surgery.
Manager Eddie Howe confirmed that the midfielder was recovering from an operation. He was taken off just before half-time of last weekend’s 2-2 draw at Watford when subsequent tests revealed anterior ligament damage.
“He will be out for the season,” said Howe. “He picked up a serious knee injury against Watford and has been operated on.”
The 28-year-old, who has scored four times in his last eight games, is set for a lengthy spell of recovery.
“We will be looking now towards next season, whether he will make pre-season for the start of the season, we don’t know,” said the manager. “We will have to see how his rehab goes, but it will be a big miss for us.
“Junior brings you that mix of creative flair and passing ability with a goal threat.
“His athletic qualities as well make him a real all-rounder and a massive player for us.
“At first our medical team were worried about him doing his cruciate ligament but it was the anterior, the lateral meniscus.
“It is probably the better of the two evils.”
Many pundits believe that the Cherries have done enough to secure their Premier League survival but Howe is still taking nothing for granted.
With matches at Liverpool and then at home against Manchester United next up, he re-affirmed: “I have always said that until it is mathematically certain, we are in a battle to stay in this division.